The way your house looks from the front is the face of your home. Your curb appeal does a lot to define your home's market value and how good it feels to come home. One of the greatest aspects of your home's front design is the windows. Your front-facing windows influence the style and beauty of your home from the street. Front windows can quietly accent a home or provide a splash of personality. They can make a home look formal or charming, inviting or ominous. It all depends on the way you design your window dressing.
There are many different things you can do with a window. The glass, the sash, the frame, and the sill are only the beginning. You can make your windows pop as accents or use them to create a visual structure. You can add molding, window heads, and decorative arches to the tops and flower boxes or molded sills to the base. You can dress them with curtains, tint them with film, or light them.
Let's explore the many techniques to make your front-facing windows pop.
1. Crystal Clarity - Thoroughly Clean Your Windows
Believe it or not, the best place to start is with the glass. Want your windows to stand out? Wash both sides of the glass with a proven streak-free method regularly. Most homes almost never see an exterior window-wash, and people often forget window-washing as a regular indoor chore. Unwashed windows slowly become dull over time. A thin layer of grime is hard to see, but it has an effect, nonetheless. Most homes have windows that reflect light more dimly and look faintly brown or gray. So having gorgeous crystal-clear windows will subtly stand out as a unique and attractive quality. Many homeowners swear by white vinegar while others rely on commercial glass cleaner to get the job done fast.
2. Accent-Painted Frames
The best-known technique for making your windows pop is to paint the frames. Color-contrasting window frames emphasize the structural lines of a home against the siding. Many homes have a two-tone theme with the window frames and trim painted a darker shade of the same color. Dark houses with white trim can also be quite striking and elegant. Colorful houses have contrasting frames, where both color and shade stand out against each other. A classic example is a dark blue house with pale yellow trim.
However, don't use black and be careful using very dark trim. Low-albedo paint absorbs heat from the sun, which can warp materials like doors and window frames. Remember this when building your accenting contrasts.
3. Molded Window Frames
When windows are installed, the frames are usually plain. You can add some personality. Molding can be installed around the window frame to give your windows wider lines and new textures or shapes. Tiered molding can add elegance while cut-out molding can create a shape or pattern around your windows. You can add molding at the top and bottom, or all the way around. Molding can also sport accent colors, even adding a third color to your palette, just as shutters can do.
Adding molding to your window frames is an easy way to give your windows a little "oomph" without changing them architecturally. No need to mess with the window structure or the sashes when you can change the size and impact of your windows with attached moldings around the frame instead.
4. Elegant Window Heads and Arches
Window heads are a traditional type of molding made for front-facing windows. They add style and decorative height to the top of each window. But more importantly, window heads are designed to protect your windows while doubling as a decorative feature. Window heads are designed with a flared wedge shape so that anything that falls will bounce and be directed away from the glass. Window heads act as rain-catchers, like an extra gutter for each window, and make your windows look subtly more majestic. Window heads can range from classical tiered ledges to flaring dramatic statements. There is a wide variety of window head styles to choose from.
5. Classic and Custom Window Arches
You can also accent a rounded shape above your windows. Rounded windows are classical and extremely elegant. Most homes are not built with rounded windows, and those that are do face special challenges with draperies and window accents. But rounded windows are superb for your curb appeal.
Window arches come in two types. Open arches accommodate windows that are already round on top, creating beautiful accents for your already elegant windows. Full arches create a detailed semi-circle of molding to accent flat-topped windows. With this addition, you can change the apparent shape of your windows while adding a touch of classic style to your curb appeal.
6. Decorative Window Boxes
If you want to create a cozy impression, window boxes are a wonderful addition. A window box is traditionally used for gardening, and can be added to almost any window. What many homeowners don't realize is that window boxes are highly diverse in style. You can install a light metal window box, a wicker window basket, or a solid wooden box, all built to your preference. Your window boxes can become the perfect tool to add dimension and detail to your front windows while continuing your overall stylistic theme.
You also get to choose what's in the window boxes. If you're a gardener and love home plants, then each box can extend your garden. But if you're thinking long-term home decoration, you might consider non-plant alternatives. Decorative stones, garden pinwheels, or solar lights might all be great options for your window boxes.
7. Matching Draperies or Drape Backing
The interior of your windows is also worth considering. Especially since you'll want to close the drapes occasionally. When choosing your window treatments, think about how your drapes will look from the outside. Especially from room-to-room. It's noticeable if you have white blinds on the left and blue curtains on the right. Make sure your drapes match for all front windows, or create an intentional window-curtain pattern.
The most common solution is white-backed inner curtains. Filmy white curtains reflect and disperse sunlight, which allows natural light into a home, reduces heat, and maintains privacy. This is why so many draperies have filmy under-curtains. For heavier drapes, you can sew on white backing or get black-out curtains with white backing. Or choose your backing colors strategically.
8. Layer Curtains and Shades
Another approach to the window-treatment option is to use shades. Fabric shades are tight and vertical, while draperies are loose and move horizontally. Together, they give you a significant amount of control over light and lines of sight in the rooms. Shades and drapes also make a uniform appearance through your front windows. If shades are always down before the drapes are closed, only the shades have to match.
Layering multiple types of window treatments can create interesting and aesthetically appealing options for controlling the front-facing appearance of your home. All you need is a uniform under-layer that looks good with your external window architectural features.
9. Replace and Paint the Window Screens
Window screens are among the most overlooked aspects of curb appeal. Your window screens make a difference. Old rusty screens with holes and debris make a home look older and untidy. Wash your screens and make sure that only good-quality screens are placed on your front-facing windows. If your screens are old or damaged, consider replacing them with screens that will make your windows look good.
Silver screens are most likely to blend with the grass, but your screen frames make an excellent opportunity for accent-color. You can paint them to blend with your window-frames or paint your screens any accent-color you wish. You can even restore old window screens by choosing to paint them.
10. Exterior Spotlights
Lights are a subtle stage trick that can really make a home pop. Lights placed in the flower beds or mounted on the wall can add dramatic shading to a home that it didn't have before. Lights can enhance your home's most attractive qualities and create new appealing effects. Lights can also draw attention away from certain areas.
Home lighting is usually considered an extension of landscaping, and it can be. But you can also use your lights to enhance your windows. Experiment with light placement, direction, and even light color to see what makes your windows look best. A slight color tint can completely change the impact of your curb appeal.
11. LED Window Frame Lights
One uniquely high-tech way to light your windows is to line the frames with LEDs. Ribbons of smart-home-responsive LED lights can be installed on the inside or outside of your window frame to beautifully define and illuminate your windows after dark. You can add back-lighting for your window frame and pre-decorate your home for every holiday.
One of the best things about LED window lights is that they can be controlled through mobile apps and smart homes. You can dynamically control the color and brightness, including patterns of multiple colors.
12. Decorative and Functional Shutters
Shutters are among the most popular ways to dress up front windows. Both functional shutters and purely decorative shutters give front windows a new shape and sense of purpose. Shutters come in all styles, colors, and designs. You can have classic slatted shutters or panel shutters with a meaningful cut-out.
If you live in a region with seasonal storms, you can even install functional shutters. While decorative shutters are nailed to the wall, functional shutters close over your windows in addition to being attractive when open. Functional shutters can also be used as sun-shades while allowing fresh air into the home.
13. Geometric Sashes
The window sash is what holds the glass frame or pair of frames in a window that opens. The sash is also the pattern of lines over or between glass panes. One of the most elegant things you can do with a window is geometric sashes. These lines will define your window, both inside and out. Diamonds are classic, but you can go for other patterns as well. Lattice, fleur-de-lis, or stars; whatever looks best with your home. Geometric sashes bring back a memory of previous eras, which might pop perfectly with a historical or vintage-designed home.
14. Apply Frosting Window Film
One technique that few homeowners know about is window film. Thin sheets of plastic can be applied to the window to change the glass subtly. You can frost your front windows, for example, or create paneled artwork on the front windows to really make a visual impact. You can increase privacy and beauty simultaneously. You can tint the windows for comfort while only slightly changing their color and appearance from the outside. Or you can tint the windows for style, making even the glass fit perfectly with your color scheme.
15. Add an Attractive Window Sill
The sill of your window can play a big role in your home's curb appearance. Window sills can be traditional and modest, wide enough to set a drink on, or flared and decorative. You can add a molding windowsill over your current structure to create style and shape for each front-facing window, including the option of a rounded lower section. A rounded molding windowsill can perfectly mirror a window arch above, giving your home a unique oval window shape that can really make your windows pop.
Making your front-facing windows pop is a powerful approach to curb appeal. Your home's windows are great assets if you know how to use them. By implementing one or more of the techniques we've talked about today, you can give your windows personally and a visual impact that will define the curbside view of your home. Whether you're enhancing the family home or preparing a house to sell at top dollar, Worthington Millwork is here to help you make your windows look amazing. With our wide selection of moldings, window heads, and window arches, you can find the perfect combination of architectural finishes to complete your home's picturesque design. Contact us today to consult on the best architectural finishes for your front windows.